A funny thing happened as soon as I sent an email saying I was going to write an ebook… Someone (me) turned on the Dangerous Warning System. I’m sure it’s a very useful system for something, but as yet I don’t know what… but not much use for making stuff or writing stuff. The Dangerous Warning System message is very clear: You are about to fall flat on your face, stop everything!
(You’re not good enough to go in here!)
Although it creates quite an uncomfortable experience it’s also a familiar experience. I’ve experienced it lots of times. Like that time at the spelling test in 2nd class when I forgot how to spell, couldn’t even manage my name, had to stand in the corner. And the time in the swimming pool when I thought I was drowning. Or that time I was learning to drive and I couldn’t breathe. Very familiar… not very helpful.
(Narrow road ahead. Photo credit: Caoimhe Walsh)
When my Dangerous Warning System is turned on there’s a sort of rigidity that comes over my whole body, my thinking gets filled with shoulds and long forgotten rules about how to do things right. Soon I want to eat a bucket of sugar, the thing I’m doing gets sidelined and my priority is to find a safe place to hide.
(There’s a terror attack – find somewhere safe to hide, now!)
If you ever find yourself afraid to take the next step, afraid of falling on your face, afraid of the possibility that you have opened the door to some awful monster… then you know about the Dangerous Warning System. And you might want to find a way to turn it off.
(Little baby steps)
I found a way! My way is to turn it off with kindness, from myself to myself. Soothing words like ah sure you’re alright, there’s nothing too dangerous going on here OR lets take it one step at a time and my all time favourite you can do it… your way. After all that kindness I’m probably loosening up on the rigidity and I might even be breathing again. Just to be sure I remind myself to soften, I shake my shoulders and I blow all the air out of my lungs. Then I remind myself, there is no right way to do this, it is possible I will fall on my face but that’s ok. I know it might hurt but it’’s still ok. Just take one baby step at a time from this soft place. And breath… all the way out. Your precious priority is to move and keep moving in the direction of what you love.
And so we begin, Mairead.